Zermatlantis is an underground museum in Zermatt, Switzerland, showcasing the Matterhorn as well as the history and development of the town. If you look at the Matterhorn Museum – Zermatlantis from the outside, you would never think that it houses an entire village. However, you may be surprised. There is a large underground chamber that is much larger than you might expect.
In this museum, you can see a reconstructed mountain village that you would not even think was possible from the outside. Honestly, I was very surprised.
Matterhorn Museum – Zermatlantis
Over the years, the Matterhorn has drawn stories from all over the world. There’s no wonder Zermatt has been among Switzerland’s most popular places time and time again.
Matterhorn Museum – Zermatlantis is on Kirchplatz, in the heart of Zermatt, Switzerland. A 7-minute walk from Zermatt’s train station, the museum is located between the Grand Hotel Zermatterhof and St. Mauritius Church.
The term Atlantis refers to its actual location underground, a reference to Atlantis, the ancient fictional island submerged under the Atlantic Ocean.
Despite its appearance, the Matterhorn Museum – Zermatlantis is much larger underground than it appears from the outside. The museum pays homage to how people viewed the region around Matterhorn before tourists arrived. A regular exhibit chronicles the mountain climbing history of the people who came and how difficult their journeys were.
Matterhorn Museum – Zermatlantis: What to Expect
Matterhorn Museum – Zermatlantis is an excellent place to learn about the Matterhorn and the history of the mountain. This is definitely worth the price, as it doesn’t cost much; the Swiss travel passes even let you in for free.
Edward Whymper and Company
A section of the museum is dedicated to the first ascent of the Matterhorn by Edward Whymper and others. Unfortunately, a tragedy occurred and not all of them made it home safely.
It was a successful ascent on the first climb of the Matterhorn. The whole climbing party managed to reach Matterhorn’s peak with Edward Whymper. However, a tragic accident happened during the descent; a misstep and a broken rope led to the death of some climbers in their party.
The images are not the only thing we can see, but also the broken rope, the items they brought, and the letters they wrote.
Listed below are some of the things you can expect at the Matterhorn Museum – Zermatlantis:
- Scenes from a mountain village are depicted in mountain huts. Aside from what lies inside the huts, a few animals that inhabit the area are also on display.
- Various mountaineering artifacts from the past, including vintage climbing gear, ropes, vintage cameras, and boots.
- A collection of photographs and videos about the mountains and climbing. In one of the rooms, you can even watch a short film.
- Using an interactive computer screen, you can learn about the geology and natural history of the region.
- Images, statistics, and newspaper clippings about famous mountaineers and mountaineering.
- A mountain relief of the Matterhorn shows the various routes one can use to get to the peak.
How to Get to Matterhorn Museum – Zermatlantis
After leaving Zermatt Train Station, follow the main road until you reach Matterhorn Museum, about 7 minutes away. The museum was open between 3:00 PM and 6:00 PM when we visited.
Final Thoughts: Matterhorn Museum – Zermatlantis
In a way, I feel as though I’ve been transported back in time to a time when life was similar to what it used to be centuries ago inside the Matterhorn Museum – Zermatlantis. There is a small mountain village inside this museum, complete with historical artifacts, animals, and more you wouldn’t expect.
Even if you only have one day in Zermatt, make sure you stop by the Matterhorn Museum – Zermatlantis. Due to its limited hours, you should schedule your visit for the afternoon.
Zermatt, Sunnegga, Rothorn, Gornergrat, and Matterhorn Glacier Paradise are all worthwhile excursions that you can do in the morning. Since the museum is only open in the afternoon, it’s advisable to visit it after choosing another option detailed above.
It is an incredibly educational experience that adds to your appreciation of the history of the Matterhorn and Zermatt. It also gives you a better understanding of why people are so fascinated by these places. A truly unexpected underground wonder, it is also very suitable for rainy days.
Matterhorn Museum – Zermatlantis isn’t expensive, and Swiss Travel Pass holders have free access to it. This well-organized museum provides a wealth of information, and I highly recommend visiting it.
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Darla Uhl is the owner of TouringSwitzerland.com. Her home is in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. Having lived almost 20 years in Switzerland, she's traveled extensively all over the country.
Darla's favorite regions to visit in Switzerland include Engadin, Lake Geneva, Bernese Oberland, Ticino, and Valais. She loves spending time with her family, hiking, visiting museums, and reading books.